Home » Government » Community pool daily use to be free for the first year, Council decides at May 23 meeting

Community pool daily use to be free for the first year, Council decides at May 23 meeting

Members of the Globe City Council: Mayor Al Gameros, Vice Mayor Mike Stapleton (District 4), and Council members Freddy Rios (District 1), Mike Pastor (District 2), Jesse Leetham (District 3), Mariano Gonzalez (District 5), and Fernando Shipley (District 6). All members were in attendance at this meeting except Councilman Leetham and Councilman Pastor.

Community pool opening “around the corner,” entry to be free for first year

Council passed a resolution waiving daily user pass fees for the Globe Community Center Swimming Pool for the first year of operation. 

City Manager Paul Jepson explained that Council had voted to set entry fees at $2 for adults between 18 and 55 years, and $1 for people under 18 or over 55. But as a thank-you to the people of Globe and to create excitement and get people to come to the pool, City Staff is asking Council to waive those fees for the first year. 

People would still get bracelets upon entry to help the City keep track of how many people are using the pool. Use of the splash pad will always be free. Fees to reserve the pool for special events will still apply. 

“It’s beyond thrilling. There are children in the community who have never been in a swimming pool, never had the opportunity, and now they will.” Community and Economic Development Director Linda Oddonetto

Jepson said the City is not setting an opening date in order to avoid potentially disappointing people. Still, they will open the pool as soon as possible after receiving all necessary approvals. Word will go out on Facebook, and Jepson said it might be as little as 24-hour notice due to the City’s desire to open as soon as possible. A grand opening event will be held later.

Jepson said initially, for the first 30 days, the pool will have open swim from noon to five, Piranha practice from 7:15 to 8:15 in the morning, and Piranha meets. The City is not yet taking reservations for other meets. Swim lessons, water aerobics, and similar activities can occur in the hours outside open swim and Piranha times. 

The City will provide lifeguards only during open swim. People who organize special events will have to arrange for their own lifeguards.

Not charging an entry fee for the first year will cost the City about $17,000 in lost income, Jepson said.

Mayor Gameros said the city is working on creating a public transit option to bring people from Miami, Central Heights, and Claypool to the pool on a daily basis.

Downtown Association activities bring thousands of visitors

Molly Cornwell, representing the Downtown Association, presented about the association’s activities over the past six months since the last time they presented before Council. She pointed out that most of the work is done by volunteers, and the association works with very little budget. 

Activities just in the last six months included: 

  • Holiday events including putting up the city’s Christmas tree, the Santa and Elves holiday event, and the Light Parade, in partnership with the Police Department
  • The Ghosts of Globe Tour, Ghosts of Globe Midnight Paranormal, a haunted house for kids at the old jail, the Halloween Block Party, and a Ghosts of Globe Paracon
  • The Easter parade and stroll
  • Events related to the Poppy Fest
  • A photography conference, a car club tour, tours of the old jail, a Corvette car show, a Selfie Scavenger tour, a partnership with the Gila County Venture Club, the annual Copper Rim Elementary School tour, and more

The Downtown Association also rents out the train station for private events and other activities and has had 45 events there just in the last six months. The station is already booked every Saturday until New Year’s. The association has just replaced the roof of the small museum building there, is working toward putting in new landscaping, and is installing new, historically accurate doors at the entry.  

The association also rents out courtyard behind the old jail and keeps the jail open to the public. In the last six months, there have been over 3,000 visitors to the old jail, Cornwell said. 

The Downtown Association also facilitated three music videos, four full feature films, and many short videos and TikToks, as well as hosting photography groups, all just in the last six months. They have several Facebook pages with a total follower count over 13,000.

Cornwell pointed out that the Downtown Association isn’t a 501(c)3 and therefore isn’t eligible to apply for most grants. They have to raise funds primarily by selling tickets and charging rental fees, and are very reliant on the bed tax.

Budget process gets under way

City manager Paul Jepson presented key aspects of the upcoming budget process for the City’s FY 2023-24 budget. 

Key topics and line items for the budget include:

  • Copper Mountain Transit/Gila County Intergovernmental Public Transit Authority ($73,000) – Globe has traditionally contributed $73,000 annually to CMT, and as it transitions to the GCIPTA, the City will continue to contribute.
  • National League of Cities participation ($35,000) – Jepson said participation has yielded millions of dollars in federal funding as the City is better able to receive funds that the federal government is investing in local communities and projects. Jepson emphasized that this money is not “their” money, it is our money that we’re bringing back to the City of Globe.
  • Nexxus federal lobbying contract ($60,000) – Increasing from $54,000 from last year
  • Globe Boys and Girls Club – Additional funding will be available from the state this year.
  • Nonprofit grant fund ($15,000) – This is a traditional budget item that was dropped during Covid but is being brought back.
  • Head Start building request for proposal – Jepson said the City has a lead on a buyer with a model for an early childhood program for ages 0 to 5, which would be a great benefit to working people and working mothers in Globe. If the buyer comes up with a plan that the City approves, they will be able to lease the building for a dollar a year.
  • First Friday event program – The City spends money on advertising, entertainment, health and safety, and community activities (such as a climbing wall and ice skating) for these events. As of April 2023, $63,126 had been spent this year. Council had a lengthy discussion about First Friday finances and the FY2023-24 budget specifically for First Fridays. Estimated budget for the FY2023-24 year is just over $82,000.
  • Citizens Academy – Although not a high-dollar budget item, this is an important item for Council.

In terms of property taxes, Jepson pointed out that the City has made a pledge that they will not ask for more money than they asked for last year, although they may receive additional funds from additional growth. But the amount of money that an individually personally pays will not increase. Because appraisals change, the City will adjust the levy each year to result in a flat rate.

Bed tax system revamp

Council also discussed the bed tax system and budget figures. Bed tax receipts for 2022-23 were $255,769, up from $230,177 in 2021-22 and $206,244 in 2020-21. Recipients include the Globe-Miami Regional Chamber of Commerce, Southern Gila County IDC, Gila County Historical Society, Cobre Valley Center for the Arts, and Globe Downtown Association. 

“Each in their way they bring something. It’s a well-balanced orchestra….I think we have a diversified group of activities.” City Manager Paul Jepson

For 2022-23, City staff proposed adding the City of Globe First Friday as a bed tax recipient and splitting the bed tax receipts equally among all six recipients, a change from the previous allocation. With that change, each recipient would receive about $42,000 for the coming year. City staff also recommend distributing the bed tax funds bi-annually rather than quarterly, with the second distribution of the year being estimated based on the previous year’s average.

Council discussed the proposal at length, with general agreement, although Councilman Shipley expressed a desire to have discussions with all parties before going forward. Jepson pointed out that there will be ample time to discuss and consider the proposal before adopting it as part of the budget process.

Budget calendar

Jepson also presented the City’s budget calendar for the FY 2023-2024 budget. The process began with a review of SAP items during this meeting. A tentative budget will be adopted on June 27. The tentative budget will be published in the Silver Belt on July 5, with a public hearing scheduled for July 19. The 2023 property tax levy will be adopted on August 15.

Council adopts 2023 Strategic Action Plan

After brief discussion Council adopted the 2023 Strategic Action Plan presented at the May 9 meeting. 

Community and Economic Development Director Linda Oddonetto pointed out that there are no major changes in course from last year, but instead the SAP is continuing efforts that are already underway. 

City employee benefits package set for 2024

Council considered Globe’s employee benefit package after hearing a presentation from Tina Howland. 

Council has a workgroup that has already engaged in lengthy discussions to hammer out the details of the plan. Councilman Shipley, a member of the working group, said, 

“It’s hard to ever vote to raise what it costs our employees, but we have to be fiscally responsible. And so this is the most modest that we could be and still go in the right direction.”

Some of the details of the package include:

  • The Blue Cross Blue Shield health care benefit cost increased by 4.5%, or $91,000, but the City will use $91,000 of a $415,000 in retention savings to buy down 100% of the cost increase. There was no increase in the benefit cost for life or vision.
  • The City continues to work toward a previously stated goal of increasing the employee benefit share for dependent coverage to 33%, to make the share of payments more fair across categories. The employee benefit share for dependent coverage is being increased by 2% each year to reach that goal. 
  • With the insurance premium not increasing overall, the City will save nearly $50,000 over 2022 as a result of employees picking up slightly more of the dependent care coverage.

Resulting rate increases for HMO and PPO plans are as follows, after accounting for the buydown:

  • HMO Single coverage – no change at $71.99
  • HMO Single +1 – Increasing 7.6% to $270.57
  • HMO + Family – increausing 6.8% to $429.79
  • PPO Single – increasing 17.5% to $59.88
  • PPO Single +1 – increasing 13.1% to $153.73
  • PPO + Family – increasing 10.9% to $254.39

The high deductible plan continues to be the least expensive in terms of premium costs to employees, Jepson pointed out. He encouraged employees who are cost conscious and good about managing their costs to look into this plan.

Council’s vote also authorized the City Manager to sign a renewal contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield, MetLife, Vision Service Plan, and Mutual of Omaha after the approval of the City’s attorney, and authorized funding as part of the FY2023-24 budget adoption process.  

Motions approved

Council also approved motions for the following:

  • Accounts payable in the amount of $1,155,505.60
  • Appointing Allison Torres and Lou Ann Rickett to the Library Committee
  • A contract agreement with Hill Street School, LLC for offsite public improvements associated with the Hill Street Redevelopment Project located at 435 S. Hill Street
  • Accepting a dedication of right-of-way along a portion of South Jesse Hayes Road in the vicinity of the West Westridge Drive intersection
  • Procurement of an emergency waterline repair located in the Northeast Corridor. The waterline is a service line to the City’s fire hydrant system and provides service to Gila County facilities including the fairgrounds and animal shelter. 
  • Accepting a National Grant Award in the amount of $30,000 as part of the 2023 National Fitness Campaign. Oddonetto explained that the funds would be used to build an outdoor fitness court for adults, to be located at the community center near the tennis courts. City staff will be looking for additional matching funds in order to move forward with the project.
  • A change order for a contract with HT4 for the Dickison Waterline project, for $4,921.97. Inspector Lon Beckett explained that the amount includes a credit back to the City for the unused copper line.
  • Bed tax fund distributions as follows:
  • To the Downtown Association for the first, second, third, and fourth quarters of FY 2023 in the amounts of $14,970.28, $11,447.56, $11,947.45, and $12,788.43, respectively. To the Gila County Historical Museum for the third quarter of FY 2022-2023 in the amount of $8,960.58 and for the fourth quarter of FY 2022-2023 in the amount of $9,591.32.
  • To the Globe-Miami Regional Chamber of Commerce for the third quarter of FY 2022-2023 in the amount of $13,440.88 and the fourth quarter of FY 2022-2023 in the amount of $14,386.99.
  • To the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts for the third quarter of FY2023 in the amount of $11,947.45 and for the fourth quarter in the amount of $12,788.43.
  • A library service agreement for FY 2023-2024 with Gila County Library District for $126,800, plus $1,200 for telephone expenses, for a total of $128,000. Library Director Rayel Starling pointed out that this item was discussed at the May 9 meeting and is being brought back for approval. Jepson explained that the county is paying the $128,000 and the item is being booked for the City as a revenue source. The item was approved contingent on legal approval. 
  • An application by the City of Globe to the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (AZDEMA) for a grant for $333,320 for a Border Security Fund to support anti-human trafficking. This item was previously discussed at the May 9 Council meeting.
  • A resolution demonstrating the Globe City Council’s approval of a submission for a 2024 Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety plan grant. The resolution appoints Chief Walters as the City’s agent to represent the City’s interest in the processing of the grant. The item was discussed at the May 9 Council meeting. 

To view this meeting online, visit YouTube here.

To view documents related to this meeting, click here

Full minutes can be found by going to the City Hall website .

The Globe City Council meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. The meetings are currently open to the public at 50% capacity. Members of the public are requested to wear a mask except when seated. Seating is limited to allow for social distancing.

Public members can also participate in City of Globe public meetings by viewing the meeting live on YouTube. To view the Council meeting live stream, go to the City of Globe’s YouTube channel (search for City of Globe Arizona).

To speak to agenda items before or during the meeting, call or text (928) 200-0154 or email council@globeaz.gov. If you desire to speak to the Council during an agenda item.

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